|July 20-22 - Sears Point Raceway (Round 2 Best Western Championship/Round 8 Western Championship)|
Beardsley Paces 40-Car Field In Flag-To-Flag Win
JULY 22, 2000/SEARS POINT
RACEWAY-Boasting the largest field so far this season,
40 drivers took the green for the start of the second round of the Star
Mazda Series Best Western Championship. Leading the charge from the pole
was Valley Motor Center's Matt Beardsley, who held off early threats from
teammate Jason LaPoint and World Speed's Scott Bradley to claim the
"I tried not to look back and
just run my own race," said the 21-year-old Beardsley, whose spare
time is spent preparing for try-outs for the U.S. Olympic downhill ski
team. Beardsley actually qualified his Alpine Bank/Land Title racer
outside pole, alongside World Speed's Grant Ryley, but post-qualifying
impound revealed a technical infraction in Ryley's Cupertino Electric/Del
Monaco Specialty Foods Formula Mazda and his time was
disallowed. Flat-Out Racing's Aaron Ogus and HASA Pool Products driver
Dave McMillan were also sent to the back of the qualifying order after
impound with technical infractions. Scott Kusy, driving his Troon
Golf/Team Bucknum-prepared car, elected to start at the back after a
qualifying run spin flat-spotted his tires and the team put on new rubber.
The new qualifying order set up an
interesting race, especially with the front-running Ryley-who was near or
at the top of all the practice time sheets-charging from the tail end of
the pack. When the green flew to start the scheduled 23-lap race,
Beardsley immediately jumped into the lead. He was challenged in Turns One
and Two by Bradley, who got a good run on LaPoint as they headed up the
hill. "I got a really good start into
Turn One," said the 22-year-old Bradley. "I tried to take the
line away from Jason in Turn Two so I could get away from him."
LaPoint, also 22, played it a little
more conservatively. "I'm in a championship race, so there wasn't
much sense in risking it all in Turn One," said the Thrasher Magazine
and Trackmagic Karts-sponsored driver. "I was thinking about points
and I wanted to finish."
Up front, Beardsley gradually took control with Bradley trailing a bit in second and LaPoint another couple seconds back in third. The best battle on track was for fourth between Bernardo Martinez and Michael Potekhen. Martinez, who is running under a joint effort with Kent Stacy and Team Bucknum, dueled all race long with Potekhen. "We'd go side-by-side through Turn Two, then I'd have to go over the curb in Four to get back by and then we'd be side-by-side in Turn Six and Mike would slide wide," said Martinez, who instructs at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway-based Derek Daly Academy. "This went on lap after lap. We really had a great time out there and he was fun to race."
Potekhen impressed all with his win at
Phoenix earlier this year and picked up Troon Golf sponsorship and a ride
with Star Mountain Racing for the rest of the series. "That was
clean, close racing," said the 20-year-old driver. "I didn't
breathe the first half of the race."
By lap nine, Ryley was up to 14th and
passing several cars as he approached the top 10. On lap 14, however,
Eurosport Racing's Justin Pestotnik went wide in Turn 11 while maneuvering
lapped traffic, clipping the outside wall. The course went to full-course
yellow to remove Pestotnik's damaged race car. Three laps later, the race
went back to green conditions with Beardsley again jumping into the lead.
Unfortunately, racing was short-lived
when Troon Golf's Bryan Selby made contact with World Speed's Rick
Waddell, sending Waddell airborne across the run-off at Turn Seven.
Luckily, neither driver was hurt, but both were done for the day.
Meanwhile, there was also trouble in Turn Two, along with errant bodywork
in the middle of Turn One. With no opportunity to go green in the time
remaining, race officials decided to throw the checker one lap early with
Beardsley leading Bradley, LaPoint, Martinez and Potekhen across the line.
Rounding out the top 10 was Shames
Construction/World Speed driver Chantz Wade in sixth; teammate Alex Figge
in his ZeroWAIT/Bell Helmets/Seattime World Speed-prepared car in seventh
and Ryley in eighth. "I was upset after
qualifying, but I decided I was gonna show these guys I deserved to be up
there," Ryley said. "I really had a lot of fun and I think I
could have been in the fight for the lead because I had a great car."
Al Boenker Insurance's Quad Boenker
finished ninth from 12th starting position with Chris McMurry
in 10th. McMurry, by the way, sustained heavy damage to his Fairytale
Brownies/Northern Trust Bank/Washburn Development/McMurry Publishing racer
in the second practice session, but Team Bucknum got the car back together
in time for qualifying and the race.
In the Best Western points
championship, Martinez maintains a one-point lead over LaPoint, 78 to 77,
respectively. Bradley moved into third with 72 points to Wade's 67.
Rounding out the top five is Ryley with 62 points.
After eight rounds Beardsley now
leads the West Division points with 295 points to Selby's 294. Bradley is
third in this championship as well with 271 points, with Ryley and McMurry
rounding out the top five with 241 and 234 points, respectively.
The third round of the Star Mazda
Series Best Western Championship will be held Aug. 6, at Mosport Int'l
Speedway in conjunction with another American LeMans event. The next round
of the West Division series is Sept. 9, at Portland Int'l Raceway.
Speedvision, featuring commentators
Derek Daly and Johnny O'Connell, is televising the entire eight-race Best
Western Championship with 30-minute shows that will be broadcast during
prime time viewing-on the East and West Coasts. The Sears Point race will
be shown on Aug. 7, at 8:30 p.m EDT, with a replay of the telecast on Aug.
8, at 12:30 a.m. EDT.
The upcoming Mosport event will be
televised on Aug. 28, at 8 p.m. EDT, with replays slated for Aug. 29, 12
a.m. EDT and Sept. 1, 1:30 p.m. EDT.
Please check your local listings to confirm the dates and airtimes.
For more information about the Star Mazda Series Best Western Championship or West Division championship, please log on to the Star Mazda Series website at www.starmazda.com or contact series administrator Gary Rodrigues at (818) 909-5319. -Jane Anderson
JULY 22, 2000/SEARS POINT RACEWAY,
Sonoma, Calif. (2.52-mile road course)
QUALIFYING: 1. Matt Beardsley, 1:34.900; 2. Jason LaPoint, 1:34.902; 3. Scott Bradley, 1:35.266; 4. Bernardo Martinez, 1:35.556; 5. Mike Potekhen, 1:35.625; 6. Alex Figge, 1:35.754; 7. Chantz Wade, 1:35.760; 8. Scott Jenkins, 1:36.041; 9. Bryan Selby, 1:36.052; 10. David Sterenberg, 1:36.394; 11. Justin Pestotnik, 1:36.766; 12. Quad Boenker, 1:36.905; 13. Chris McMurry, 1:36.919; 14. Pierre Ehret, 1:36.949; 15. Bob Negron, 1:37.005; 16. Steve Lopez, 1:37.479; 17. Bryan Willman, 1:38.013; 18. Doug Peterson, 1:38.037; 19. Will Hill, 1:38.161; 20. John Pestotnik, 1:38.206; 21. Tom Sporney, 1:38.320; 22. Dick Downs, 1:38.418; 23. Chad Block, 1:38.700; 24. Brad Drew, 1:39.446; 25. Michael Choquette, 1:39.508; 26. Tom Mabey, 1:39.758; 27. Miguel Franco, 1:39.987; 28. Taylor Fletcher, 1:40.129; 29. Rick Waddell, 1:40.179; 30. Ethan Hernandez, 1:40.277; 31. Ginni Swanton, 1:40.540; 32. Steve Cook, 1:41.317; 33. Dan Weyland, 1:41.534; 34. Jim Billys, 1:42.676; 35. Norm Hernandez, 1:42.897; 36. Larry Couture; 37. Grant Ryley, no time; 38. Scott Kusy, no time; 39. Aaron Ogus, no time; 40. Dave McMillan, no time.
TIME OF RACE: 40m55.406s
|Round 2 - Best Western Championship Official Results/ Round 8 Western Championship|
|Pos||Driver||Laps||Laps Led||Difference||Fast Lap|
|28||Larry Couture||21||-- 1 lap --||1:41.177|
|34||Bryan Selby||19||-- 3 laps --||1:37.203|
|36||Rick Waddell||18||-- 4 laps --||1:40.871|
|37||Justin Pestotnik||14||-- 8 laps --||1:37.604|
|38||Miguel Franco||8||--14 laps --||1:40.948|
|39||Taylor Fletcher||-||-- 22 laps --||---|
|Round 2 - Best Western Championship Points|
STAR MAZDA SERIES BEST WESTERN
CHAMPIONSHIP TOP 10 POINT STANDINGS
(After 2 of 8 rounds):
1. Martinez, 78; 2. LaPoint, 77; 3. Bradley, 72; 4. Wade, 67; 5. Ryley, 62; 6. Boenker, 57; 7. Beardsley, 56; 8. Lopez, 53; 9. Peterson, 51; 10. Downs.
TOP 10 WEST DIVISION POINT STANDINGS
(After 8 of 11 rounds):
1. Beardsley, 295; 2. Selby, 294; 3. Bradley, 271; 4. Ryley, 241; 5. McMurry, 234; 6. Sterenberg, 218; 7. Ehret, 195; 8. McMillan, 193; 9. Kusy, 178; 10. Figge & Willman, 169.